Want List: Ultravox “Rage In Eden” Ultrabox Coming for Album’s 41st Anniversary

ultravox ©1981 Trevor Key
Ultravox rocking vintage looks with state-of-the-art sound ©1981 Trevor Key

In the biggest open secret for some months, Ultravox’s much-mooted “Rage In Eden” ultrabox was finally announced today in an official capacity. Rogue retailers in Europe had played their hands early last year which must have vexed the minds at Chrysalis, but at PPM we try not to twitch at mere rumors and run with the authenticated word. Which means that today we can say with certainty that on September 30th, 2022, almost 41 years to the day from its original date of release [Sept. 11, 1981], we can buy one more copy of Ultravox’s magnifico phase two peak, “Rage In Eden.”

In the months following the band’s triumphant ascent of the UK charts with their massive hit “Vienna,” the pull of promotion, back in the day when that meant flying to Germany to tape a TV appearance left the band on the run and pushed to the limits as they [finally] became stars in the sort of musical environment that was not simply “their time,” but was a scene that the band had laid the foundations for as far back as 1978.

It was possibly for that reason of being run ragged that Ultravox decamped to Conny Plank’s studio in Germany that summer with nothing written to record what became “Rage In Eden” but the best of intentions. It took by all accounts, a harrowing three months of the band resorting to grit and determination to craft an album, that by no coincidence was as claustrophobic and insular as they would ever make. No matter the cost to the band’s psyche, the end results spoke for themselves and “Rage In Eden” became the hidden litmus test of Ultravox fandom. The last classic album in a series of three before the band decided to leave Conny Plank behind for different climes. And now it’s been revisited in a number of formats and packages.

ultravox rage in eden CD + DVD box
Chrysalis | UK | 5xCD + DVD-A | 2022 | CHRB 1338

Ultavox: Rage In Eden Boxed Set – UK – 5x CD + DVD [2022]

CD 1: Rage In Eden [Original 1981 Analog Master]

  1. The Voice
  2. We Stand Alone
  3. Rage In Eden
  4. I Remember (Death In The Afternoon)
  5. The Thin Wall
  6. Stranger Within
  7. Accent On Youth
  8. The Ascent
  9. Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind Again)

CD 2: Rage In Eden [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix] (Previously Unreleased)

  1. We Stand Alone [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  2. Rage In Eden [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  3. The Thin Wall [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  4. Stranger Within (Full Length Version) [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  5. Accent On Youth [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  6. The Ascent [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  7. Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind) [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  8. I Never Wanted To Begin [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  9. Paths And Angles [Steven Wilson Stereo Mix]
  10. I Remember (Death In The Afternoon) [Steven Wilson Work In Progress Mix]
  11. Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind) [Steven Wilson Work In Progress Mix]

CD 3: Rarities: Singles/B-Sides/Rehearsals

  1. The Thin Wall [Single Version]
  2. I Never Wanted To Begin [7” Version]
  3. I Never Wanted To Begin [Extended Version]
  4. The Voice [Single Version]
  5. Paths & Angles
  6. Private Lives [Live at Crystal Palace 13/6/81]
  7. All Stood Still [Live at Crystal Palace 13/6/81]
  8. I Remember (Death In The Afternoon) [Instrumental Rehearsal] (Previously Unreleased)
  9. Accent On Youth [Instrumental Rehearsal] (Previously Unreleased)
  10. Paths & Angles/The Thin Wall [Instrumental Rehearsal] (Previously Unreleased)
  11. Untitled I [Rehearsal] (Previously Unreleased)
  12. Untitled II [Rehearsal] (Previously Unreleased)
  13. The Thin Wall [Work In Progress Mix]
  14. Stranger Within [Work In Progress Mix]
  15. The Voice [Instrumental Work In Progress Mix] (Previously Unreleased)
  16. We Stand Alone [Work In Progress Mix]

CD 4: Live at Hammersmith Odeon 16/10/1981 [Part I] (Previously Unreleased)

  1. The Thin Wall
  2. New Europeans
  3. Sleepwalk
  4. I Remember (Death In The Afternoon)
  5. Stranger Within
  6. Mr. X
  7. Rage In Eden

CD 5: Live at Hammersmith Odeon 16/10/1981 [Part II] (Previously Unreleased)

  1. Accent On Youth
  2. The Ascent
  3. Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind Again)
  4. Vienna
  5. Passionate Reply
  6. Passing Strangers
  7. We Stand Alone
  8. All Stood Still
  9. The Voice

DVD [Audio Only]: ‘Rage In Eden’ Album and B-Sides– Steven Wilson Mixes (Previously Unreleased)

  1. 24/96 5.1 Surround Mix
  2. DTS 96/24 5.1 Surround Mix
  3. DOLBY AC3 5.1 Surround Mix
  4. 9624 LPCM Stereo Mix

‘Rage In Eden’ album and B-Sides – Original 1980 Production Masters

  1. 96/24 LPCM Stereo Mix]

The first disc is the classic album. The second disc was Steven Wilson’s remix in 2.0 as necessary for his 5.1 surround mix on the DVD. Unfortunately, the multitrack masters for two of the album’s songs were missing. So we won’t be hearing “The Voice” or “I Remember [Death In the Afternoon]” get the Wilson touch. Wilson himself posits that the multitracks were often sent out to TV shows for an “exclusive mix” to accompany a mimed performance and these were often never seen again. It’s why generally the biggest singles from many albums have missing multitracks. I remember that in 2004, “Promised You A Miracle” was unable to be part of the first 5.1 mix of “New Gold Dream [81, 82, 83, 84]” so this sort of thing happens with sad regularity. Fortunately, these projects soldier ahead, since there’s still a lit to look forward to. In a rare move, the second disc even has a couple of Wilson remixes of “work in progress” material in addition to the final recordings and B-sides.

Disc three has all of the released rarities followed by rehearsals and early mixes to show how the album gelled. The full Hammersmith Odeon show from their 1982 “Rage In Eden” tour is spread over discs four and five. And as a ‘live music guy” who really enjoyed the similar live set in the “Vienna” box, I’m looking forward to this, but this time it’s all down to the last two albums, with no transformative takes on the earlier Foxx material. By this time, Ultravox had conquered the naysayers that had been nipping at their heels since they began, so we’ll get to hear their victory lap as it happened. And the DVD has the album in high res 2.0 and 5.1 mixes by Steven Wilson.

People who know me know this will be my choice. The official store has the box for a sane $69.00 but I managed to get the last one at a substantial discount from a US dealer, which also helped. But there are three different packages for those of an LP persuasion. First up is a 180g 2xLP with a half-speed master cut for the best sound possible. It’s the straight album below for $30.00.

ultravox rage in eden half speed mastered 2xLP
Chrysalis | UK | 2 x LP | 2022 | CHRH 1338

Also available is the de riguer clear vinyl LP box with a large chunk of the CD box content spread over all eight sides with the album, B-sides and single mixes, and the live album included, again, for $69.00. If I were a speculator [I’m certainly not one of those] with more than two nickles to rub together right now I’d be hoarding as many copies of this as I could since the last “Vienna” LP box was sold out in pre-order and now sells for hundreds of dollars.

ultravox rage in eden clear LP box
Chrysalis | UK | 4 x LP [clear] | 2022 | CHRL 1338

Finally, Chrysalis are doing something differently this time in releasing a “Rage In Eden” Pic-Disc LP with artwork based on the poster that came with the original album. I have the “Quartet” and “Lament” Pic-Disc LPs but there were no earlier ones. This one is a webstore exclusive and will set you back $30.

ultravox rage in eden exclusive pic disc
Chrysalis | UK | Pic-Disc LP | 2022

According to Discogs, I own eight pressings of this album and now I’m set to reach…number nine. The official webstore has a variety of bundles and packages that trim the costs a bit, but annoyingly, there’s no bundle with the boxed set and the snappy “Rage In Eden” t-shirts that are calling out to me like sirens. Only $24.00 for the privilege. As well as tote bags…does anyone ever really want tote bags?

ultravox rage in eden t-shirts
I really want that navy design

I often wax eloquent about the weekend of my 18th birthday in late September, 1981 when I went to a great record store with my birthday cash and splashed out for Gary Numan’s “Dance,” Ultravox’s “Rage In Eden,” and John Foxx’s “The Garden.” I had gone specifically for “The Garden” and didn’t even know that the other two albums were out! It looks like I’ll get some more of that Synth Rock magic for my 59th birthday. Stay tuned for the run down after this is in house. Until then, D.J. hit that button!

post-punk monk buy button

-30-

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in 5.1, BSOG, Core Collection, Designed By Peter Saville, DVD, Live Music, New Romantic, Scots Rock, The Great B-Sides, Want List and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Want List: Ultravox “Rage In Eden” Ultrabox Coming for Album’s 41st Anniversary

  1. Tim says:

    I really want them to do a future release with an instrumental album like they did for Vienna. This is my favorite Ultravox album and I really want the instrumentals more than anything shown so far as extras.

    Like

  2. Andy B says:

    Monk, like you my three favourite Ultravox albums are Systems Of Romance, Vienna and Rage In Eden. For me this is their peak.
    I’ve been so looking forward to this and jumped on it straight away. I’ve bought the CD/DVD box set and the four disc clear vinyl. set. I’ve also ordered a blue t-shirt.
    It’s a real shame the master tapes for The Voice and I Remember(Death In The Afternoon) are missing. Two of my favourite tracks on the album.
    Earlier listings on some unofficial sites had shown the full Crystal Palace set featuring. Unfortunately that proved to be false. I guess we can’t have everything.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Andy B – I have to admit that my favorite Ultravox moment, for its pure sonics, is the fantastic segue between “Rage In Eden” and “I Remember [Death In the Afternoon].” That drifting shortwave broadcast that degenerates into random hum before that impossibly heavy CLICK…followed by the pulsating synth bass intro to “I Remember” is always something that I turn up [very] loudly! I will be missing that rather severely on the Wilson mixes. On the “New Gold Dream” DVD-A they included “Promised You A Miracle” and “Colours Fly + Catherine Wheel” in 2.0, just to keep the flow. I can also see the conceit behind leaving them off entirely as on this project. Such scenarios are like lifeboat decisions and I’m just glad that I didn’t have to make the call.

      Like

      • Andy B says:

        It must have indeed been a difficult decision to make.
        I too love that segue between the two tracks. That pulsating synth bass is so magical. The drums gradually rising up into the mix as well. Brilliant!
        It’s an album I have listened to so many times throughout my life and it never fails to blow me away.
        What a year 1981 was musically.

        Liked by 2 people

        • postpunkmonk says:

          Andy B – Musically, 1981 was like a 200 course meal at the finest restaurant on planet earth. That lasted for months. Twelve, in fact! By 1982, we could sense that the era had peaked and would inevitably head downhill.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. alonewithstrangers says:

    A labour of love……

    Liked by 2 people

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